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Tibet’s Fate in Hands of Biden After Congress Passes New Bill

Daniel Kim Views  

According to the SCMP, on the 13th, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Tibet-China Dispute Act with 391 votes in favor and 26 against the previous day. The bill, proposed by Senator Jeff Merkley (Democrat, Oregon), has already passed the Senate and is now awaiting the President’s signature.

The bill’s purpose is to reject the Chinese government’s claim that Tibet has always been part of Chinese territory. It explicitly provides funding to counteract the Chinese government’s false and distorted claims and information about Tibetan people, history, and institutions. The bill includes parts of Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces, where Tibetans reside, alongside the current Chinese-designated Tibet Autonomous Region.

While the U.S. State Department maintains Tibet as part of China, the legislatures who endorsed this bill believe that the Chinese Communist Party’s occupation of Tibet violates international law.

They contend that if the Chinese government systematically suppresses Tibetans’ ability to preserve their religion, culture, language, history, way of life, and environment, then Tibetans should have the right to self-determination.

China forcibly annexed Tibet in 1950, the year after its founding, through the deployment of a large number of People’s Liberation Army troops. In 1959, large-scale uprisings demanding independence erupted across Tibet, resulting in many casualties during the suppression.

During this time, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and the de facto head of state, established a government in exile in Dharamsala, northern India, and led a non-violent independence movement. Meanwhile, China incorporated the reduced Tibetan region as one of the 31 provinces, cities, and autonomous regions 1965. While China calls the process of annexing Tibet a “peaceful liberation,” Western countries see it as forced by coercion and criticize the Chinese government.

Michael McCaul, Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee (Republican, Texas), emphasized that the “bipartisan bill demonstrates America’s resolve that the CCP’s status quo in Tibet is not acceptable.”

Consequently, all eyes are on whether President Biden will sign the bill.

China did not hide its discomfort at the movement of the U.S. Congress. Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the U.S., said, “The U.S. should not provide a platform for ‘Tibetan independence’ forces to engage in anti-China separatist activities. China will take all necessary measures to defend its interests.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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